Zack Snyder Fully Intends to Direct Xerxes, Reveals Plot Details

July 21, 2010
Source: Hero Complex

Zack Snyder - 300

For the past six months we've had intermittent updates on Frank Miller's prequel to his epic graphic novel 300. Titled Xerxes, the story focuses on The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece which was fought between the citizens of Athens and a Persian force commanded by both Datis & Artaphernes. We also heard that Zack Snyder was optimistically waiting for Miller to finish the novel and already presuming to direct the project. Now Hero Complex is reporting that Snyder has definitely declared intent to direct the film which is currently being written, however the studio hasn't made an official deal yet.

Snyder says: "We closed the writing deal on Xerxes. We started writing about a week ago. It's really going to depend on what the studio wants to do and what we do when we finish; I don't have a directing deal in place but we are writing it, so call it intent. If there was a crime they could probably convict me." We got a first look at the art for Xerxes earlier this year, and it's a lot more of the same (which is not bad). Surely Snyder bringing his stylized visuals and slow motion action back to this will be highly anticipated after the success of 300, the breakthrough film in his career which made the Watchmen movie possible (for better or worse).

Interestingly enough, though Xerxes is typically referred to as a prequel to 300 (even by us), apparently it's not exactly fitting of that classification. Snyder explains:

"This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae [which was the basis of 300]. This one starts off with a quick retelling of the why of the Persian wars. It starts off at the Battle of Marathon and then it goes back to Themistocles finding out that Persians are invading again. and off we go over to learn a little bit about why Xerxes is the way he is."

Though fans will surely be looking forward to Snyder's return to the epic battlefield, don't expect a simple re-hashing of all the action and intensity that made 300 a flick for the man's man. Snyder continues and elaborates on the differences between 300 and Xerxes:

"What I said to the studio is that 300 gave everyone a chance to fight alongside a super warrior, a chance to fight alongside these Spartan warriors that you could never fight against; but Themistocles is different, he is us. It's much more about the everyman. Themistocles is kind of the father of democracy. It's much more about these guys choosing. The Spartans are, 'We fight, we die,' so that's an easy choice for them, there's no surrender. The cool thing about Themistocles and his gang is that it's way more difficult. Things aren't as clear or unchallenged. He has to be more political to get everyone to agree. It's political, in the soap-opera sense of the word. There's a relationship with Leonidas and well, we'll see where it all goes."

So it sounds like there's a chance Gerard Butler could even return for a cameo, but Snyder says he hasn't contacted him about the flick yet. Either way, Xerxes sounds like it will have much of what everyone loved about 300, with a bit of a twist that makes the characters a little less hyperbolic in their heroic battles. We'll be looking forward to more details and an official announcement of a directing deal from Snyder (if he does decide to direct) and production commencement sometime down the road, so stay tuned. For now, I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about the graphic novel and its debut before we hear any more about the movie.

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Opinions



He's loyal to the story that allowed his career to skyrocket and bring Watchmen to the silverscreen. I'm in, want to see what else he can do. But first I wanna see Sucker Punch, and maybe Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole.

Xerxex on Jul 21, 2010


cant wait to see. and i wanna see sucker punch also. but i'll at least wanna see sum previews for it tho. and i think xerxes is gonna be great. not like 300, but story wise, i think it'll be epic

KING on Jul 21, 2010


300 was one of those cases where the trailer rocked the shit out of the actual movie. Was bored in the theatre when watching the film, but the trailer with the NIN track really got me hyped. So... yeah... but I'm still intrested in this. Would be cool if they use the same kind of greenscreen technique(sp?) but still let the film has a different look than 300.

ryderup on Jul 21, 2010


Im in...loved 300, love Snyders work.

Cody w on Jul 21, 2010


Oh, I hope he puts the squid back in, at the end.

Dave Lister, J.M.C. on Jul 21, 2010


Oh for the love of Christ... please do not subject the world to another movie as bad as 300.

Kevin on Jul 21, 2010


300 was epic! I'm looking forward to this

dee8 on Jul 21, 2010


It wasn't that bad Kevin, hell at least it stayed true to the novel. Snyder wasn't looking to create the best film ever, he merely made a badass historical flick which was awesome, until the homophobes showed up.

Xerxex on Jul 21, 2010


Hopefully it'll be full of more classic one liners and testosterone driven over the top violence.

Brandon on Jul 21, 2010


300 = sweaty muscular guys in Speedos with no body hair portraying Greeks who cry about their fallen comrades. definitely Gay.

Karl on Jul 21, 2010


not that there is anything wrong with that. LOL

Karl on Jul 21, 2010


300 was great work with an awesome look. So bring on more!

4gig on Jul 21, 2010


Snyder's over use of gore is disgusting!

Dan on Jul 21, 2010


If its not just a 300 squeal or prequel for the hell of it but a real new story in the same vein, then Fuck Yeah!

Richard on Jul 21, 2010


Sounds good! @ Karl 300 is gay? I guess I’m a light in the heels, flaming, butt pirate; cuz i want some more! I assume you either have a walrus or pencil like physique. Probably not to many team sports or military experience in your life or you might be able to understand the comradery a little and maybe you wouldn’t be so alarmed/aroused (tomato/tomato) by sweaty muscular guys. Sorry they didn’t have chest hair! That must have been the deal breaker for you. Hang in there buddy. Go Troll somewhere else.

mcwilly on Jul 22, 2010


mcwilly don't encourage the homophobes they are a very small minority.

Xerxex on Jul 22, 2010


don't smoke pot and watch 300 you become stuck in slow motion Limbo

doomcanoe on Jul 22, 2010


Nice one doomcanoe.

Xerxex on Jul 22, 2010


little mcwilly, ouch must have hit a nerve. 300 looked great but sucked in many ways and was very homoerotic. it is a perfect example of a good idea poorly calibrated to the lowest common denominator. if your standards are that low its okay. I will still see the sequel on the cheap. maybe I'll even see you and Xerxex there celebrating your anniversary. you guys ever coming out of the closet? LOL

karl on Jul 22, 2010


@ Carly, so witty... That's exactly what i was saying; i didn’t find anything homoerotic at all.... That’s how it was so easy to understand you better. If you found it's getting hard to suppress your true inner feelings. ..Just let it out, sister. It is ok, times have changed. We won't judge you. Just saying… Oh and the tooth fairy is out on Blue Ray now : ) I think it might be your cup of tea, please enjoy. ttfn Little McWilly @ Xerxex, your right dude...I just kinda enjoy messin with these trolls from time to time. It kinda amuses me while im at work.

McWilly on Jul 23, 2010


300 looked great, but its was boring as that vamped gerard butlers career i have no idea. i enjoyed the gore, but the shiny abs were really a bit much. all in all its a film that i dont see myself sitting through again anytime soon. ill have to see how well this one pans out before i come to any conclusions.

blah blah on Jul 26, 2010

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